Learn About the Besa Cigar

Who is Skanderbeg?

Gjergj Kastrioti, known as Skanderbeg, was an Albanian military commander who led the rebellion against the Ottoman Empire.

As a member of the noble Kastrioti family, he was sent as a hostage to the Ottoman court.

He was educated under the noble Kastrioti family and entered the service of the Ottoman sultan for twenty years.

He later became the ruler of Krujë, Sfetigrad, and Modrič in 1443.

Rising to the rank of chief military commander of the League of Lezhë in 1444, he helped the league consolidate nobility throughout what is today Northern Albainia.

For the first time, Albania was united under a single leader.

The rebellion lead by Skanderbeg brought Albanians from many different regions together.

With military skills that have been compared to Alexander the Great, Skanderbeg’s army victoriously marched through Ottoman territory, winning battle after battle from 1443 to 1468.

To this day, Skanderbeg is well known and admired by Albanians all over.

What does "Besa" mean?

Besa is an Albanian cultural precept, translated as “faith” or “oath”, it means “to keep the promise” and “word of honor”.

Besa refrains more towards obligations to the family and a friend, the demand to have internal commitment, loyalty and solidarity when conducting oneself with others and secrecy in relation to outsiders.

During the Ottoman period, the besa would be cited in government reports regarding Albanian unrest, especially in relation to the tribes.

In World War II under German occupation, Albanians rescued and hid over 2000 Jews from Nazi persecution, motivated in part by the cultural institution of besa that emphasises aiding and protecting people in moments of need.

"Bac, U Kry!"

“Bac, u kry!” is an Albanian slogan that was used during Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 2008. The quote translates to “Uncle, it’s over!”, essentially meaning “Dude, it is done!”

The smoking experience

The Besa is a medium bodied cigar, blended with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, and a Nicaraguan-Dominican filler. Cigar enthusiasts will experience notes of hazelnut, cocoa, and cedar, with a peppery finish. Two sizes are now available: The 6×50 Toro and the 4.5×50 Short Robusto.